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NovoCrops and HuidaGene enter licensing partnership to expedite gene editing crop development

2024.06.11 09:00
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Beijing and Shanghai, China, Jun 11, 2024 – Recently, NovoCrops Biotechnology (“NovoCrops”), a leading gene-editing biological breeding research and development company based in China, and HuidaGene Therapeutics (“HuidaGene”), a global clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on discovering CRISPR gene-editing tools and advancing CRISPR-based genomic medicines, jointly announced a partnered licensing agreement on the application of novel DNA editor hfCas12Max® in developing gene-editing crop products.

Under this license agreement, NovoCrops obtains a global license of hfCas12Max® in multiple main crops development and production; HuidaGene receives license fees, including upfront, milestone, and royalty payments. This collaboration not only stands for an important step for HuidaGene to broaden hfCas12Max® application in the agricultural field globally but also means a significant milestone for NovoCrops to strategically utilize China-innovated gene tools to accelerate gene editing crops development with fundamental intellectual properties. 

hfCas12Max® is a new DNA gene editing system independently developed through HuidaGene's HG-PRECISE® platform. hfCas12Max® has demonstrated superior on-target editing efficiency and lower off-target editing activity than widely used CRISPR-Cas9, Cas12a, Cas12b, and Cas12e. hfCas12Max® has the potential for broad applications in biomedical research, agriculture, cell and gene therapy, and other fields. The publication entitled "An engineered xCas12i with high activity, high specificity, and broad PAM range" was published in Protein & Cell journal in November 2022. In May 2023, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted hfCas12Max® invention patent US11,649,444B1 through the fast-track review channel of the patent in just 9 months. It is not only the first granted global patent on the CRISPR-Cas12i system originally innovated in China, but it is also a breakthrough step in providing solid IP protection for the commercialization of novel gene editing therapies from China to globally.

NovoCrops is a leading gene-editing biological breeding research and development company based in China. The company has built a state-of-the-art, highly efficient industrial genetic transformation platform and multi-crop trait development platform. Through this strategic cooperation, NovoCrops will leverage the advantages of the hfCas12Max® DNA editing tool and quickly apply it to the development of the product pipeline by optimizing the applicability of hfCas12Max® in the agriculture field. NovoCrops also aims to expand the international pipeline cooperation based on the wide recognition of the tool in the global market.

About HuidaGene

Founded in 2018 with headquarters in Shanghai and offices in New Jersey,  HuidaGene Therapeutics (“HuidaGene”) utilizes its proprietary CRISPR-based HG-PRECISE platform to discover, engineer, and develop potentially curative genomic medicine. Since its inception, HuidaGene has reached in-depth cooperation with a number of top scientific research institutions and hospitals. HuidaGene is committed to addressing patients' needs globally with clinical and preclinical therapeutic programs in CNS, ophthalmology, and neuromuscular diseases. Company's CRISPR-based therapeutics offer the potential to cure patients with life-threatening conditions by repairing the cause of their disease. The Company’s extensive intellectual property portfolio positions it as a leader in unleashing the full potential of CRISPR gene editing. Learn more at or on LinkedIn.

About NovoCrops

Founded in March 2023, NovoCrops is a multi-crop gene-editing innovative biological breeding technology company established by a technical team composed of former scientists from Syngenta and a commercial team. The core members have rich experiences in global research and development and biotechnology industry operations. With the mission of "Deliver traits for a better life", NovoCrops upholds the core values of "Innovation, Intensity, Openness, and Win-Win". With product development as the core, NovoCrops drives the open cooperation of various crop industry chain partners, promotes the healthy and sustainable development of agriculture, continues to provide innovative products and solutions for a better life for human beings, and contributes technical solid support for ensuring national food security and independent self-reliance of seed industry science and technology.